T. E. Lawrence to Bruce Rogers
Dear Bruce Rogers
The first batch, (only Books I, II & III of the Odyssey, went off to Emery Walker at Christmas. The fourth book lags. It is very long, and rather dull. I hope to send books IV, V and VI to you about the end of February: but my leisure isn't my own property: so take no action depending on what I hope.
There are two (two hundred, probably, but two for the moment) questions which if we lived in the same continent I'd feel bound to ask you about :- paragraphs, and proper names.
I have put in a lot of paragraphs. Some printers like solid pages. If you do, then run them together. If you like lots of paragraphs, then split each into two or three. My writing has the quality of bar soap: wherever you cut it across, the grain is the same quality: just soap. If you give me a note, for future guidance, of how many words should be in a paragraph, then Homer shall conform, for the other books. I don’t at present even guess how big a page you aim at.
As for the spelling of proper names: I have left them half-Latinised. I mean, I write MENELAUS: Homer wrote MENELAOS. I write ALCMENE: Homer, ALKMENE. I confess that I like Homer's usage the better: but it feels odd, sometimes.
There is no need for consistency. Achilles is a household word, like Venice: and so is Troy*: but even of these, if you wish, the Greek can be exactly transliterated - only I leave you to do it. Spell everybody as you please. I am, as you know, personally indifferent to - or at least a very loose user of - people's names (beginning with my own.)
T E Shaw
*ODUSSEUS is rather a horror, isn't it? It was probably pronounced Odthisses.
|Last revised:||6 July 2006|
T. E. Lawrence chronology
1888 16 August: born at Tremadoc, Wales
1896-1907: City of Oxford High School for Boys
1907-9: Jesus College, Oxford, B.A., 1st Class Hons, 1909
1910-14: Magdalen College, Oxford (Senior Demy), while working at the British Museum's excavations at Carchemish
1915-16: Military Intelligence Dept, Cairo
1916-18: Liaison Officer with the Arab Revolt
1919: Attended the Paris Peace Conference
1919-22: wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1921-2: Adviser on Arab Affairs to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office
1922 August: Enlisted in the Ranks of the RAF
1923 January: discharged from the RAF
1923 March: enlisted in the Tank Corps
1923: translated a French novel, The Forest Giant
1924-6: prepared the subscribers' abridgement of Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1927-8: stationed at Karachi, then Miranshah
1927 March: Revolt in the Desert, an abridgement of Seven Pillars, published
1928: completed The Mint, began translating Homer's Odyssey
1929-33: stationed at Plymouth
1931: started working on RAF boats
1932: his translation of the Odyssey published
1933-5: attached to MAEE, Felixstowe
1935 February: retired from the RAF
1935 19 May: died from injuries received in a motor-cycle crash on 13 May
1935 21 May: buried at Moreton, Dorset